Can I manually open my garage door with a broken spring?

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Garage Door Spring
  4. »
  5. Can I manually open my garage door with a broken spring?

Can I Manually Open My Garage Door with a Broken Spring?

Garage door springs play a critical role in the smooth operation of your garage door system. These tightly wound coils provide the necessary tension to counterbalance the door’s weight, allowing it to open and close effortlessly. However, like any mechanical component, garage door springs are subject to wear and tear over time, and their eventual failure is inevitable. When spring breaks occur, it can create a potentially hazardous situation that requires immediate attention.

The Importance of Properly Functioning Garage Door Springs

Garage door springs are under immense tension, and when one breaks, the entire system can become unbalanced. This imbalance can cause the door to slam shut unexpectedly, posing a significant risk of injury or property damage. Additionally, attempting to operate a garage door with a broken spring can strain the remaining components excessively, potentially leading to further breakages and costly repairs.

Should You Try to Open a Garage Door with a Broken Spring Manually?

In short, the answer is no. Attempting to open a garage door with a broken spring manually is a challenging endeavor that should only be undertaken by trained professionals. Here’s why:

The Dangers of Manual Operation

  1. Risk of Injury: Garage doors are heavy, and manually lifting the door requires a significant amount of force without the counterbalancing force provided by the springs. If the door slips or falls unexpectedly, this effort can lead to muscle strains, back injuries, or even crushed fingers or limbs.
  2. Potential for Property Damage: If you lose control of the door while attempting to open it manually, it can slam down with tremendous force, potentially damaging your vehicle, the door itself, or any nearby objects or structures.
  3. Lack of Proper Equipment and Training: Manually operating a garage door with a broken spring requires specialized tools and expertise to ensure safety and proper handling without further damaging the door or sustaining injuries without the right equipment and training.

What to Do When a Garage Door Spring Breaks

Identifying a Broken Spring

Before attempting any action, it’s crucial to identify whether a spring has indeed broken. Here are some telltale signs:

  • Uneven Door Movement: If the door appears to be sagging or moving unevenly, it could indicate that one of the springs has failed.
  • Loud Noises: A broken spring can produce loud banging or popping noises as the door operates.
  • Visible Damage: In some cases, you may be able to visually inspect the springs and identify any apparent breakages or deformities.

Professional Garage Door Repair Services

The safest and most reliable option when dealing with a broken garage door spring is to seek professional assistance. Experienced garage door repair technicians have the training, tools, and expertise to safely and efficiently handle spring replacements.

Open a Garage Door

Why Hire a Professional?

  1. Safety: Professional technicians understand the inherent dangers of working with high-tension springs and follow strict safety protocols to prevent accidents and injuries.
  2. Proper Equipment: Garage door professionals can access specialized tools and equipment designed specifically for spring replacements, ensuring the job is done correctly and safely.
  3. Warranty and Reliability: Reputable garage door companies typically offer warranties on their artistry and the replacement parts they install, providing peace of mind and ensuring the longevity of your garage door system.
  4. Time and Effort: Attempting to replace garage door springs yourself can be time-consuming and physically demanding. Professionals can complete the job efficiently, minimizing downtime and inconvenience.

Temporary Solutions for a Broken Garage Door Spring

While it is never recommended to attempt manual operation of a garage door with a broken spring, there are temporary solutions you can implement until professional assistance arrives.

Disengaging the Garage Door Opener

If your garage door is equipped with an automatic opener, you may be able to disengage it from the door itself. This process typically involves pulling a release cord or lever, which disconnects the opener from the door, allowing you to manually open and close it without the opener’s assistance.

Steps to Disengage the Garage Door Opener:

  1. Locate the Release Mechanism: Refer to your opener’s manual or look for a cord or lever, typically located near the opener motor or the door track.
  2. Pull the Release Cord or Lever: Gently pull the release cord or lever to disengage the opener from the door.
  3. Manually Open or Close the Door: With the opener disengaged, you should be able to manually open or close the door without the opener’s assistance.

Using the Emergency Release

Some garage door openers are equipped with an emergency release mechanism explicitly designed for situations where the door needs to be manually operated. This feature typically involves a handle or knob that, when engaged, allows the door to be manually opened or closed without the assistance of the opener.

Steps to Use the Emergency Release:

  1. Locate the Emergency Release Mechanism: Refer to your opener’s manual or look for a handle or knob, typically located near the door track or the opener motor.
  2. Engage the Emergency Release: Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to engage the emergency release mechanism.
  3. Manually Open or Close the Door: With the emergency release engaged, you should be able to manually open or close the door without the opener’s assistance.

Temporary Securing the Door

Suppose you cannot safely operate the garage door manually or disengage the opener. In that case, securing the door in its current position is essential to prevent potential accidents or unauthorized access.

Steps to Temporarily Secure the Door:

  1. Utilize Locking Mechanisms: If your garage door has manual locking mechanisms, such as slide locks or bolts, engage them to secure the door in its current position.
  2. Use Temporary Supports: You can temporarily support the door by placing sturdy objects, such as wooden beams or blocks, underneath it to prevent it from moving or falling unexpectedly.
  3. Block Access: If the door cannot be secured in a closed position, consider blocking access to the garage by placing barriers or warning signs to prevent anyone from attempting to open or close the door.

Preventive Maintenance for Garage Door Springs

Follow a regular preventive maintenance routine to minimize the risk of sudden spring failures and extend the lifespan of your garage door system.

Regular Inspections

Conduct visual inspections of your garage door springs at least once every few months. Look for signs of wear, such as rust, deformation, or cracks. If you notice any issues, it’s best to have a professional technician evaluate the system and replace the springs if necessary.


Proper lubrication can help reduce friction and wear on your garage door components, including the springs. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for lubricating the system’s springs and other moving parts.

Balanced Door Operation

Ensure that your garage door is appropriately balanced and operating smoothly. An unbalanced door can strain the springs, leading to premature failure. If you notice any issues with the door’s operation, seek professional assistance for adjustments or repairs.

Spring Replacement Schedule

While garage door springs are designed to last several years, they will eventually need replacement. Consult a garage door technician to determine the appropriate replacement schedule for your specific system based on usage, environmental conditions, and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The Benefits of Professional Garage Door Spring Replacement

While it may be tempting to attempt a DIY spring replacement to save money, investing in professional garage door services offers numerous benefits that can outweigh the initial cost.


As mentioned, working with high-tension garage door springs can be extremely dangerous if improperly handled. Professional technicians have the necessary training and equipment to ensure the job is done safely, minimizing the risk of injuries or property damage.

Proper Installation and Adjustment

Garage door spring replacement is a complex process that requires precise measurements, adjustments, and installation techniques. Professionals have the expertise to ensure the new springs are correctly sized and installed, ensuring smooth and reliable operation of your garage door system.

Warranty and Quality Parts

Reputable garage door companies typically offer warranties on their artistry and the replacement parts they install. This provides peace of mind and ensures that you receive high-quality components designed to last and perform as expected.

Time and Convenience

Attempting a DIY spring replacement can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you encounter unforeseen issues or need more tools and knowledge. Hiring professionals can save time and avoid the hassle, allowing you to focus on other essential tasks.

Temporary Solutions

Choosing a Reliable Garage Door Service Provider

Regarding garage door spring replacements or any other garage door-related services, choosing a reliable and reputable service provider is essential. Here are some factors to consider:

Experience and Expertise – Look for a company with a proven track record and experienced technicians specializing in garage door services. Experienced professionals are better equipped to handle complex repairs and installations efficiently and safely.

Licensing and Insurance – Ensure your garage door service provider is appropriately licensed and insured. This protects you from liability in case of accidents or damages during the repair or installation process.

Customer Reviews and Reputation – Research the company’s reputation by reading customer reviews and testimonials. A reputable service provider should have a history of satisfied customers and a commitment to excellent customer service.

Warranty and Guarantees—Inquire about the service provider’s warranties and guarantees. Quality companies typically stand behind their work and offer warranties on parts and labor, providing you with added peace of mind.

Pricing and Transparency—While cost should not be the sole determining factor, it is important to obtain transparent pricing information from potential service providers. Reputable companies should be upfront about their rates and any additional charges, allowing you to make an informed decision.

Trust Gulliver Garage Doors for Your Calgary Garage Door Needs

If you’re in the Calgary area and need garage door spring replacements, repairs, or installations, trust the experts at Gulliver Garage Doors. With years of experience and a team of highly skilled technicians, we prioritize safety, quality artistry, and customer satisfaction.

Our services include:

  • Garage door spring replacements
  • Garage door opener installations and repairs
  • Garage door panel replacements
  • Annual maintenance and tune-ups
  • Emergency repair services

At Gulliver Garage Doors, we pride ourselves on using only high-quality parts and components backed by industry-leading warranties. Our technicians are fully licensed, insured, and equipped with the latest tools and equipment to handle any garage door-related issue efficiently and effectively.

Don’t risk your safety or the integrity of your garage door system by attempting DIY repairs or installations. Contact Gulliver Garage Doors today to schedule a consultation or request service. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is ready to assist you with all your garage door needs in Calgary.

Related Links

Garage Door Spring Repair
How much does it cost to replace a garage door spring in Calgary?
What is the best price to replace a garage door spring?
Can a garage door spring be repaired?